There's a reason that old sayings are—well, old—and it has more than a little something to do with truth. They say that sometimes the very thing we're looking for is right in front of our eyes but we just can't see it. Well, just recently I put that notion to the test by taking a "staycation vacation" right here in Southern California. And you know what I concluded? Who needs to spend thousands of dollars on airfare and hours on planes when there are so many treasures so close to home?
I began my Southern California journey in oh-so-chic Malibu, a place where I've spent a fair amount of time but never really explored like a local. It’s sort of funny, but destinations can be a bit like friends—sometimes you can know them without really knowing them at all. Or at least that was what occurred to me after spending several days on Carbon Beach in Malibu.
Having been an Angeleno for well over a decade, Malibu itself is not new to me. In fact, the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs right through the heart of Malibu, is one of my favorite escapes—especially during low-traffic hours. I've been to parties in Malibu, dined in some of its more notable restaurants and had more than a few cocktails at some of its favorite watering holes, though never quite as many as Mel Gibson I am almost assured. That said, the point is that I superficially knew Malibu before my staycation adventure, but in many ways, my next-door neighbor was a stranger that I only became familiar with when I literally moved in.
Because Malibu is all about the beach and the views, I set out to find the perfect vantage point from which to experience life in the 'Bu. And I found that place in one of Malibu Beach Rental Properties' cozy oceanfront rentals right off the PCH.
Long before I even pulled into the gate of the property I booked for my staycation getaway, I had already left much of the Los Angeles I knew so well behind. But by the time Sue, the genuinely affable owner/manager of Malibu Beach Rental Properties, greeted me upon my arrival to give me a guided tour of the two-bedroom rental, I was already lost in the miles of ocean just beyond the deck of the property and the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach directly below. Combined with the décor of the "cottage," which is what I would call 'Cape Cod charming,' the scene left me more convinced than ever that staycations need not only be thought of as economical, because they can also be pretty luxuorisly fab. I mean, I was just 45 minutes from home and there I sat in paradise without ever boarding a plane, dealing with a security line or even thinking about baggage restrictions. Pretty genius if you ask me—all the fun of travel without the hassle. Sign me up!
In addition to its pretty stunning deck—complete with gas grill, lounge chairs and umbrella-shaded table and chairs—my rental, the Dolphin, featured a jacuzzi tub, just to take the experience right over the top. And, just like all three of the other vacation rentals in the 24-unit property, the Dolphin came equipped with flat-screen televisions, an iPod deck, DVD player, fully stocked kitchen, fireplace, tons of fresh linens and blankets and its own garage. There were even all sorts of fun toys like kayaks and boogie boards available for the exclusive use of visitors to the cottage. And did I mention that you could literally walk out the door of the cottage onto a completely private beach? No crowds, no lookie-loos—just acres and acres of ocean. Honestly, there were times when I felt there was no one else around at all.
Also, unlike many vacation rentals, there is a staff on duty each day to promptly assist with any issues or needs guests may have. Beyond that, Sue, the owner, is always just a phone call away—and so clearly committed to making sure her guests have the best possible stay that she even dropped off a fresh bag of coffee for me when it occurred to her there might not have been enough in my cottage. (Coincidentally, there was plenty.)
In addition to the Dolphin, Malibu Beach Rental Properties also include the two-bedroom Orca penthouse and the one-bedroom Seal and Stingray units, all of which have those same fabulous decks and views in addition to all of the above.
Watching the sunset over the Malibu pier just days into my first ever "staycation vacation," I realized I had already learned a very valuable lesson—sometimes all you need to do to escape is to change your view, and Malibu Beach Rental Properties offer just that.
Find out more about Malibu Beach Rental Properties at maliburbeachrantalproperties.com.
Stay tuned for more Living Wells in Malibu and beyond! And follow me and my travels on Twitter @TheDuaneWells.
Duane Wells, the former Managing Editor of GayWired.com and lead travel expert and blogger for MoxieQ Media, has also served as the host of Here’s The Thing, a nationally syndicated hour-long daily gay travel radio program. Currently he is a travel and lifestyle expert and frequent contributor to a number of leading print and online publications in the United States, Great Britain and Canada. Over the last decade and a half, Duane has traversed the globe profiling the chicest destinations and A-list celebrities ranging from Lady Gaga, Sam Worthington and Jennifer Hudson to Joan Collins, Tony Bennett and Sigourney Weaver. A resident of Los Angeles, Duane is currently toiling over a number of projects, including a travel reality series and his first novel, Heaven or Hell, Darling?